Mark Alan Mattes

Assistant Professor


I am currently working on two books that explore the cultural politics of early American textual media. My monograph project, Archival Apocrypha: Indigenous Writing and the Figure of Logan in Colonial and Native American History, examines how Indigenous writing systems and colonial archives shape histories about Native Americans and the Ohio River Valley. I am also editing a collection of essays, A Media History of Handwriting in Early America, under contract with the University of Massachusetts Press. This work develops a multiethnic and multiracial history of handwriting during our own moment of digital shift, exploring how a vital media practice has been and remains crucial to our understandings of communication, art, cultural difference, and social order. 

My writing appears in journals such as Early American Literature, Early American Studies, and Ohio Valley History, as well as in collections such as Handwritten Newspapers and Apocalypse in American Literature and Culture. My research is currently supported by fellowships from the Bibliographical Society of America and the International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello, as well as by a BIPOC scholars grant from the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing. Previously, my research has been supported by the Library Company of Philadelphia, the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the American Antiquarian Society, the Newberry Library, and the Friends of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries.

I regularly teach courses on Text Technologies, Book and Media History, Native American and African American Literature, and Early American Literature. I am also very fond of teaching Introduction to Literature. In addition to teaching, I organized a NEH-funded undergraduate workshop, "Print Culture in the Age of Shakespeare," in support of Kentucky’s First Folio! exhibition in 2016. In 2019, I chaired "The Futures of Handwriting," an international symposium sponsored by UofL and the Rare Book School’s Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography, in partnership with The Filson Historical Society. 

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